On Tuesday night, Michelle Obama, in her speech at the Democratic National Convention spoke about empathy.
“Empathy: that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes; the recognition that someone else’s experience has value, too. Most of us practice this without a second thought. If we see someone suffering or struggling, we don’t stand in judgment. We reach out because, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” It is not a hard concept to grasp. It’s what we teach our children.
And like so many of you, Barack and I have tried our best to instill in our girls a strong moral foundation to carry forward the values that our parents and grandparents poured into us. But right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another. They’re looking around wondering if we’ve been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.”
I’ve been thinking about empathy too because it’s a strong feature of most women and female leaders I admire. Women in general tend to have dramatically more empathy than men in assessments like the PONS (Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity) test and EQ (Empathy Quotient). In the Myers-Brigs test, about three-fourths of women tested as “Feelers” in a national study. Feelers use empathy and emotional intelligence to supplement facts and provide meaningful solutions.
Rather than focusing on division, empathetic feelers seek solutions that bring about harmony and consensus. And that’s something we need to see more of in this pandemic moment. #Michelle Obama, #empathy, #Womensleadership, #women